Jump to navigation
Unlike the application, which is a form the employer uses to manage the applicant pool, the resume is all yours. It’s a tool with one specific purpose: to win an interview. Think of it as an advertisement, nothing more, nothing less. As with the application, most employers spend less than 15 seconds deciding whether to consider a resume favorably.
A great resume doesn’t just tell an employer what you have done. It presents you in the best light. It convinces the employer that you have what it takes to be successful in this new position or career. It is so pleasing to the eye that the reader is enticed to pick up and read it. It inspires the prospective employer to pick up the phone and ask you to come in for an interview.
The fact is, most people buy the product that is advertised most effectively. And the product you’re selling is one in which you have large personal investment: you. That doesn’t mean your resume is to be all flash and no substance. You don’t have to do a hard sell or make any claims that are not absolutely true. You do need to get over your modesty and unwillingness to toot your own horn.
If you are applying for a job that requires a resume, you should write a cover letter to accompany it. The purpose is to individualize your resume, to tell how your talents will benefit the company and to specifically ask for an interview. This is an opportunity to convey personal warmth and enthusiasm, but it must be kept short. Ask for samples of cover letters at your Workforce Center if you would find them helpful.